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Missoula County Weekly | May 28-June 4: Clinton Skatepark grant opening; polling places open June 4

Post Date:05/28/2024 4:30 PM

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New podcast episode: The Economic Impact of Homelessness in Missoula

Homelessness has been at the center of local, regional and national debate in recent years, with tensions rising between residents, advocates, business owners and politicians.

This week, local economist Bryce Ward joined the Missoula County commissioners to discuss the findings of his most recent report, "The Economic Impact of Homelessness in Missoula.” In this episode, they answer questions like “how does Missoula’s homeless population compare to other communities in Montana?” and “what does homelessness look like in rural areas?” Bryce also addresses common myths about the demographics of homelessness, plus the surprising link between our social lives and our personal stability. Click here to listen, or find it wherever you get your podcasts under “The Agenda with the Missoula County Commissioners.”

Grand opening of Clinton Skatepark set for Saturday, June 1

Join Missoula County and the Clinton Community Park Working Group for a grand opening celebration of the Clinton Community Skatepark at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 1, at the Clinton Community Park, 1011 Stitt St.

The grand opening celebration will include food trucks, community booths and speakers from agencies and organizations who played a key role in making the skatepark a reality. Speakers may likely include Pearl Jam bassist and Montana native Jeff Ament, who founded the nonprofit Montana Pool Service, which was instrumental in supporting the project and contributed a large amount of funding needed for skatepark construction.

The event will also feature a “Race Around the Track” activity, where community members and project partners can skate a lap around the skatepark track, with the finish line acting as the “ribbon cutting” for the skatepark. Open skating will also be available throughout the event and after. Attendees should follow signage along East Mullan Road for primary event parking on the Stitt Street side of the park, with overflow parking available at the Clinton School. Event parking or vehicle turnaround will not be available at the park entrance off Silver Street.

The Clinton Skatepark’s funding and construction is a result of a collaboration between the Clinton Community Park Working Group, Missoula County, Montana Pool Service, the Montana Skatepark Association, Evergreen Skateparks, Friends of Missoula Parks and many other donors and supporters. Within walking distance of the Clinton School and easily accessible to surrounding neighborhoods, this project is the first step in returning the Clinton Community Park to a vibrant gathering space.

Elections Office encourages polling place voters to prepare for primary on Tuesday, June 4

The Missoula County Elections Office encourages registered voters who have not opted to receive their ballots in the mail to confirm their polling place location ahead of the primary election on Tuesday, June 4. Voters can do this online.

Twenty polling places will be open across Missoula County on Election Day. While approximately 85% of Missoula County voters choose to receive their ballots in the mail for every election, Montana law requires polling places to be open on Election Day for any regularly scheduled federal, state or county election. Due to the redistricting cycle following the 2020 Census, voters in Evaro, a section of Lolo and certain parts of the City of Missoula may see changes to where they can vote on Election Day. Visit the myvoterpagemt.com and click on "Polling Places" to see your polling place.

Because the election is fewer than 30 days away, Missoula County residents who need to register to vote or make changes to their registration, such as updating their address or changing their mail ballot status, must now do this in person by noon on Monday, June 3, at the Missoula County Elections

Center. The Elections Center is located at 140 N. Russell St., and staff will provide voter services in Building B on the east side of the parking lot. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this week. Starting Tuesday, May 28, the office will be open until 6 p.m. on weekdays leading up to the primary election, as well as from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 1.

Residents who vote by mail can confirm the Elections Office has received and accepted their ballot by visiting myvoterpagemt.com. A list of frequently asked questions about this primary election is available online.

Elections Office provides voter education opportunities, tours

The Missoula County Elections Office encourages voters to educate themselves on the processes the County follows to conduct accurate, accessible and secure elections and invites members of the public and media to tour these processes leading up to and after Election Day.

The following tours will take place in the Elections Center, located at 140 N. Russell St. in Missoula:

  • 10:45 a.m. Thursday, May 30: Ballot processing. Attendees will observe staff and volunteers following the multi-step process used to verify signatures, process ballots and ensure that each ballot cast is counted. 
  • 8:45 a.m. Monday, June 3: Ballot tabulation. Attendees will observe staff conducting the final test of equipment, as well as the counting and retention process for voted ballots.
  • 2:45 p.m. Monday, June 10: Provisional ballot count. Attendees will observe staff counting any accepted provisional ballots for the election.
  • 8:45 a.m. Wednesday, June 12: Post-election audit. Attendees will observe the process used to confirm that equipment worked correctly during the election. This is an audit of any ballot counting machines used during the election. It is completed by comparing a hand-count of ballots to the results from the equipment.
  • 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 18: Election canvass. State law requires the Elections Office and three county elected officials to verify the election with a canvass. The canvass ensures the number of ballots voted are the number of ballots counted and that no ballots are missing or counted more than once. Media and public are invited to observe the canvass with the Missoula County commissioners and elections staff.

If unable to attend an in-person tour, voters can learn how the Elections Office ensures all ballots are counted by watching the informational videos posted online. A list of frequently asked questions about this primary election is also available online.

Deadline approaching to apply for property tax assistance programs for fixed-income residents, disabled veterans 

The deadline to apply for two property tax relief programs administered by the Department of Revenue is Saturday, June 1.

The Property Tax Assistance Program (PTAP) helps Montana homeowners on a fixed or limited income reduce their property taxes on their primary residence. This benefit only applies to the first $350,000 of the market value of your residence. Income limits apply and are updated yearly to reflect inflation. Download the form.

The Montana Disabled Veteran Assistance Program (MDV) helps disabled veterans or their unmarried surviving spouse reduce their property taxes on their primary residence. Download the form.

Engage with us on Missoula County Voice! 

Don’t miss these opportunities to get involved with county government:    

Job openings

Looking for a job with great benefits? Join our team at Missoula County! Benefits include health, dental and vision insurance; paid parental leave and vacation, sick and holiday leave; free and confidential counseling services through an Employee Assistance Program; and enrollment in the Public Employees’ Retirement System. The following departments are hiring:       
  • Animal Control
  • Detention Facility
  • Ecology & Extension
  • Fairgrounds
  • Facilities
  • Financial Services
  • Grants
  • Missoula Public Library
  • Missoula Public Health
  • Partnership Health Center
  • Public Works

See the full list of job openings at Missoula County and apply today!  

Missoula County in the News:

 Selected Upcoming Events at County Facilities:

What are the commissioners up to? 

Recently, the Missoula County commissioners…

  • Approved a contract with Ameresco for the replacement and renovations of the HVAC systems in the Missoula Public Health building.
  • Approved a professional services agreement with WMA Specialists for targeted control of noxious weeds within the rights-of-way in Missoula County that are managed by the Montana Department of Transportation. This agreement totaled $2,800 and funds were supplied by MDT.
  • Approved a professional services agreement with Dustbusters Inc. for the supply of liquid magnesium chloride for the 2025 dust abatement program Missoula County Public Works administers.
  • Approved a professional services agreement with Rhinoceros Inc. to provide alcohol beverage services for the Western Montana Fair from 2024 to2026, as well as Missoula County Fairgrounds lease events.
  • Approved a professional services agreement with Pioneer Technical Services to begin the process to potentially create a new Targeted Economic Development District (TEDD) at Grant Creek Crossing. Grant Creek Crossing encompasses about 80 acres off Michael Lane between North Reserve and I-90.
  • Opened a public hearing about the possible dissolution of the Evaro-Finley-O’Keefe Community council. Click here to learn more and submit comments.

 Keep up with the commissioners yourself by attending a public meeting. Commissioners’ meetings and selected board meetings for the upcoming week are listed below, with links to agendas and Microsoft Teams links: 

Wednesday, May 29

Thursday, May 30

Monday, June 3

 Please note that agendas for department and administrative meetings are published two business days before the meeting, and public meeting agendas are published the Friday before the meeting. Administrative and public meeting video recordings are available on the Missoula County YouTube page, and MCAT plays the public meetings live on Spectrum Channel 190.

Email bcc@missoulacounty.us or call 406-258-4877 if you have any questions or comments on an upcoming meeting.